The Indianapolis 500 will proceed without spectators this month, Brickyard management has announced.
IndyCar’s flagship event, which will take place almost three months later than its traditional month of May, had previously been set to run at 25 percent of crowd capacity.
The latest decision, made in the first year of Penske ownership of the circuit and the IndyCar Series, follows an increase in cases in the state of Indiana, where Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located.
“This tough decision was made following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership,” read a statement from IMS.
“As dedicated as we were to running the race this year with 25 percent attendance at our large outdoor facility, even with meaningful and careful precautions implemented by the city and state, the COVID-19 trends in Marion County and Indiana have worsened. Since our June 26 announcement, the number of cases in Marion County has tripled while the positivity rate has doubled.
“We said from the beginning of the pandemic we would put the health and safety of our community first, and while hosting spectators at a limited capacity with our robust plan in place was appropriate in late June, it is not the right path forward based on the current environment.
“We encourage Hoosiers to continue making smart decisions and following the advice of our public health officials so we can help get Indiana back on track.
“Penske Corporation made a long-term investment to be the steward of this legendary facility. While we were very excited to showcase the investments and enhancements we have made in the guest experience, we know we have reached the right decision. As much as Roger Penske and everyone associated with the 500 wanted to race with fans this year, we ultimately reached this conclusion in partnership with the state of Indiana and city of Indianapolis.
“Our commitment to the Speedway is unwavering, and we will continue to invest in the Racing Capital of the World.
“We encourage everyone to watch this year’s race on NBC, and we look forward to welcoming our loyal fans back to ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ on May 30th of 2021.”
Practice for the Indianapolis 500, which is the next event on the calendar after the postponement of the Mid-Ohio double-header, commences on Wednesday, August 12 (local time).